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A Survivor’s Guide to Kicking Cancer’s Ass by: Dena Mendes

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
It’s a ballsy move to look in the face of cancer and say, “I’m gonna kick your ass!” Yet Dena Mendes did just that, and now she’ll tell you how to do the same thing!
This book is a crash course in learning how to be your own advocate. Empower yourself by using your intuition and newfound knowledge, and you’ll come through this difficult yet amazing health-awakening opportunity with flying colors. With this step-by-step guide at your side, your journey will turn into a beautiful dance,. As Dena promises, “You’ll get to turn yourself inside out and become someone new. I guarantee that this is the best trip you’ll ever take!”
This guide is a life preserver that has been created to support you
on your journey back to perfect health. . . .

Goodreads Summary
We’ve all experienced the heartbreaking affect of cancer on loved ones and friends.  Many of us will experience the “surreal trip” of hearing a diagnosis of cancer ourselves.  Dena Mendes’ book begins with the story of her own battle with cancer.  Then, she continues with details and suggestions about treatments.  Her research and experiences have much to offer a reader who is looking for an optimum treatment – especially for patients with breast cancer.  She frequently reminds the reader that her suggestions were right for her…and may not be the best course for another person.  She reminds us to trust our intuitions and dreams. 

In addition, Mendes has suggestions which will benefit all her readers, but especially those who are dealing with cancer.  Her comment that “cancer gives you the gift of freedom from the old constraints that bound you” is inspiring.  She counsels others to “recombobulate: reinvent, revamp, refocus, and renew.”  A list of “Max’s healing instructions” on page 43 is concise and ….not impossible to achieve.  (Mendes introduces Max – her personal guru and a natural healer.)  Some of her suggestions, especially regarding food, may seem impossible.  Giving up sugar and dairy – and eating seaweed will probably sound impractical to most readers.  However, since much of the author’s advice sounds sensible and reasonable (best sleep is sleep by 10,) it may be important for health and healing to consider her advice.  The allegory of treating ourselves like a garden is appealing.  What nutrition, rest, sunshine, or rain do we need for optimal wellness?

Adults, who are dealing with cancer themselves or are interested for a loved one’s benefit, will profit from reading this book.  Those who would like to improve their overall wellness would also enjoy reading the suggestions and positive attitude underlying the author’s writing.

Four Stars

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble

*Written in conjunction with Colleen Corsiglia, a Live To Read Reviewer

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Scream Catcher by Vincent Zandri

This is how your life ends: Not with a whimper, but a scream!

Jude Parish is afraid. The former violent crimes cop turned bestselling true crime author has a fear-filled demon lodged inside of him. A demon so real he can only imagine a slimy reptilian beast with scaly skin, black eyes, and razor-sharp fangs having taken up residence inside the place where his once confident and fearless soul resided.

Now, in the wake of his literary success, the ever anxious Jude is hoping to lead a quiet, peaceful life in the idyllic Adirondack vacation town of Lake George, New York with his new pregnant wife, Rosie, and Jack, his young son from a previous marriage. But when Jude becomes the accidental witness to a bizarre “kill game” in which the killer, video game designer and master of disguise, Hector “the Black Dragon” Lennox, insists on recording the screams of his victims prior to shooting them dead, the ex-cop’s life is turned upside down.

When Lennox is arrested by the L.G.P.D. and Jude is asked to act as the state’s “star witness,” he has no choice but to fight his demon-fear and take on the role. But what he doesn’t realize at the time, is that the killer’s arrest is actually the first level in what is a carefully designed and scripted first-person video kill game that will involve his entire family as “players” and “victims.”

How will the kill game end?

Like all violent video games, it will end in death. But it won’t be “Game Over” until Hector Lennox catches the screams of his tortured victims.

“If you want a novel that runs wild like a caged beast let loose, Zandri is the man.”

—New York Post

“Probably the most arresting first crime novel to break into print this season.”
—Boston Herald

“A thriller that has depth and substance, wickedness and compassion.”
—The Times-Union (Albany)

“Vincent Zandri explodes onto the scene with the debut thriller of the year. As Catch Can is gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting. Don’t miss it.”
—Harlan Coben, author of The Final Detail

“A Satisfying Yarn.”
—Chicago Tribune

“Compelling…As Catch Can pulls you in with rat-a-tat prose, kinetic pacing…characters are authentic, and the punchy dialogue rings true. Zandri’s staccato prose moves As Catch Can at a steady, suspenseful pace.”
—Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

“Exciting…An Engrossing Thriller…the descriptions of life behind bars will stand your hair on end.”
—Rocky Mountain News

“Readers will be held captive by prose that pounds as steadily as an elevated pulse… Vincent Zandri nails readers’ attention.”
—Boston Herald

“A smoking gun of a debut novel. The rough and tumble pages turn quicker than men turn on each other.”
—Albany Times-Union

“The story line is non-stop action and the flashback to Attica is eerily brilliant. If this debut is any indication of his work, readers will demand a lifetime sentence of novels by Vincent Zandri.”
—I Love a Mystery

“A tough-minded, involving novel…Zandri writes strong prose that rarely strains for effect, and some of his scenes…achieve a powerful hallucinatory horror.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A classic detective tale.”
—The Record (Troy, NY)

“[Zandri] demonstrates an uncanny knack for exposition, introducing new characters and narrative possibilities with the confidence of an old pro…Zandri does a superb job creating interlocking puzzle pieces.”
—San Diego Union-Tribune

“This is a tough, stylish, heartbreaking car accident of a book: You don’t want to look but you can’t look away. Zandri’s a terrific writer and he tells a terrific story.”
—Don Winslow, author of The Death and Life of Bobby Z

—Kirkus Reviews

Goodreads Summary

The best quality of this novel was the high intensity.  The reader will not have to read far before hitting plenty of action.  The serial killer appears very realistic, the reader won't have to deal with a phony killer.  The main character, Jude, was a likable character.  He is protective, strong, and smart.  The secondary characters were fun to get to know, particularly Jude's family.  It isn't easy to make a character too personable in a thriller/mystery, but the author accomplishes that easily in this novel.  One of Jude's best characteristics was his ability to admit his fear; too many characters are portrayed as "perfect."  Jude's small imperfections were what made him so easy to like.

Many scenes were action-packed, very fast-paced.  The reader will be entertained throughout the novel.  There is always a note at the beginning of each chapter indicating the setting, day, and time; this is always helpful in a mystery/thriller book.  The book is not very predictable, there are quite a few twists and surprises; the reader will be kept on his/her toes.  Overall, this is a great book for reading on a long car drive or commute.  This book is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble

Book Details:
Genre:Adult Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: StoneGate Ink
Publication Date: August 30,2011

This is how your life ends: Not with a whimper, but a scream!
Jude Parish is afraid. The former violent crimes cop turned bestselling true crime author has a fear-filled demon lodged inside of him. A demon so real he can only imagine a slimy reptilian beast with scaly skin, black eyes, and razor-sharp fangs having taken up residence inside the place where his once confident and fearless soul resided. Now, in the wake of his literary success, the ever anxious Jude is hoping to lead a quiet, peaceful life in the idyllic Adirondack vacation town of Lake George, New York with his new pregnant wife, Rosie, and Jack, his young son from a previous marriage. But when Jude becomes the accidental witness to a bizarre “kill game” in which the killer, video game designer and master of disguise, Hector “the Black Dragon” Lennox, insists on recording the screams of his victims prior to shooting them dead, the ex-cop’s life is turned upside down.When Lennox is arrested by the L.G.P.D. and Jude is asked to act as the state’s “star witness,” he has no choice but to fight his demon-fear and take on the role. But what he doesn’t realize at the time, is that the killer’s arrest is actually the first level in what is a carefully designed and scripted first-person video kill game that will involve his entire family as “players” and “victims.” How will the kill game...

Author Bio:
Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon Kindle author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, CONCRETE PEARL and the forthcoming MOONLIGHT RISES. He is also the author of the bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Harlan Coben has described his novels as "...gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting," while the New York Post called THE INNOCENT, "Sensational...Masterful...Brilliant!" In March, April and May of 2011, he sold more than 100,000 Kindle E-Books editions of his novels, and is rapidly closing in on the 200K mark all totaled. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for RT, Globalspec, IBTimes and more, he divides his time between New York and Florence, Italy.

Connect With Vincent:
The Next Stop:
December 5:Guest Post@

Guest Post by Author Karen Hooper (Tangled Tides)

1) Did you have any say in that wonderful cover?

Oh my gosh, I had so much say.  I did a whole post about it on the YA Confidential blog that I'm a part of.
It shows pics of the process from beginning to end. My cover artist, Melissa Williams was amazing and easy to work with so she gets most of the credit for how wonderful it turned out, but yes, whenever I asked for something, Melissa made it happen.

2) What was the title and plot of the first story you wrote (very first)?

My very first story was called The Kindrily. It's about a group of supernaturally gifted people who perpetually reincarnate. They retain their memories from every lifetime and they're paired up as soul mates so they've been together for centuries. But the MC, Maryah, erased before entering this life. Her brokenhearted soul mate and the rest of the crew are on a mission to make her remember who she was/is. That story WILL make it out into the world someday. I don't care how many times I have to revise it! :)

3) When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Not until my late twenties. I've always loved to write, but I never thought I had the patience and diligence required to write a novel. Then one night a cast of characters barreled into my living room and there was no stopping the story that poured out of them. I've been addicted to writing books ever since.

4) How did you come up with the idea for sea monsters?  Or are they your favorite paranormal creature?

Mermaids are definitely one of my favorite paranormal creatures. My love for them started when I was two years old and collected Sea Wees dolls. I've also had a weird love for Medusa (the gorgon) since I was a little kid. I watched the original Clash of the Titans movies more times than I can count, but I always felt sorry for her at the end when Perseus killed her. I gave her a much better role in TANGLED TIDES. The sirens and selkies were also creatures I've been fascinated with, but I had never read or seen them how I pictured them in my mind, so I brought them to life in my own way through my novel.

5) What was your favorite aspect of Yara's character?

Ah, Yara. I love her to pieces. My favorite part about her is that she isn't afraid to speak her mind, no matter what. She's all, "This is me. Take it or leave it."  I wish I could be more like her.

6) Who was the hardest character to write about?

Hmm, probably Uncle Lloyd. That poor man had been through so much and still continued to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. I had to make him strong but also caring and sensitive toward Yara. Many times it was difficult because as the author, I know so many details about who he is and what he's been through. Caring shouldn't have been his natural reaction to anything, but the fact that he's still such a good guy is what makes him so great.

7) Do you utilize your friends/family/self in your characters?

Absolutely. There is a quote on my blog that says " I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known." The same goes with all of my characters. Also, people watching is one of my favorite hobbies, so I gather writing material that way too.

8) On a scale of one to ten, how fun was this book to write?

An eleven! My characters are so fascinating (in my humble opinion) and I don't plot or plan anything when I write, so watching their personalities and journeys unfold was so exciting. Plus, I was creating a world full of underwater creatures, beautiful islands, and magic. How could that not be fun?

9) Why did you decide to go into the paranormal genre?

Stories with magical or paranormal elements have always been my favorite. I had to write what I love.

This or That Questions

Chocolate or Vanilla (and there IS a right answer)

BOTH! Mixed! And throw in some cookie dough bites, please. :)

Breakfast or Dinner
Breakfast--even at dinner time.

Ancient Rome or Ancient Greece
Greece all the way!

Saturn or Pluto
Pluto, because it reminds of Mickey Mouse's dog.

Dogs or Cats
Dogs rule! I have two that will agree wholeheartedly with me.

Puzzles or Board Games
Both. I really do love both. You can't make me choose.

Writing on Paper or with a Computer
Depends on my mood and the occasion.

The color Red or Blue
The gorgons in TANGLED TIDES would say both since they have red AND blue blood (good and evil.) I vote to mix the colors together and make purple. 

Writing for a Character that Doesn’t Just Cheat Death – She Steals Life by Carrie Salo

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Have you ever wished that you never had to be afraid again?  Have you wondered what it would be like to feel like you are always in control?  Have you ever wanted to make someone regret a harsh word or nasty conduct? 

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you are going to love Elise.

Elise is the main character in my recently released supernatural thriller, The Sounding.  While The Sounding is grounded in true history and real, millennia-old religious prophecy, it focuses on how events in our world today might bring about the early end of the world.  In the middle of underground catacombs, modern omens and a mission that spans the continents is Elise: an unlikely savior.  On the outside, she’s a normal 20 year-old woman.  Athletic, pretty (though not beautiful), strong, a bit too serious and a bit too closed.  She’s a redhead who wears pink.  She works at a pub when she’s not putting herself through school.  She doesn’t have a roommate.  On the outside, you might not pay her much attention. 

But on the inside, she’s keeping a secret.

Elise can steal energy.  From anyone.  She simply needs to touch them – anywhere their skin is exposed – and then it begins.   She calls it turning-up because the feeling   reminds her of turning-up the volume on a stereo.  She concentrates to make her consciousness “louder.”  It’s as simple as focusing her thoughts, truly noticing the blood in her fingers; the way another’s skin is warm against her own, and then ­– feeling for something more.  Feeling for the life just on the other side of the skin.  The burning begins, the tingling, the heat.  And in a few seconds (or a few minutes if you’re unlucky) she can take as much of you as she wants – your strength, your feelings, even your thoughts.  The energy is then hers to use.  She can heal herself of all but a fatal wound.  She can make herself incredibly strong – running faster, jumping further, lifting more.   She can use the energy to give herself telekinetic powers, moving and manipulating objects with her mind.  At the beginning of the novel, she’s attacked while walking home very late.  But, as you’ve probably guessed, it’s the attackers who are most surprised that night. 

As an author, writing for Elise was a uniquely liberating experience.  Unlike any other character I have written for, Elise has no fear.  She is always aware (even if only in the background) that she will never need anyone, that there is almost nothing she physically cannot do.   She can always win, or she can always escape, and therefore, she is never confined, even by the plot.  If she chose, she could be an Olympian – and win any of the men’s events.  She could be an impossible-to-catch thief.  She could be the most death-defying stuntman.  A magician… a politician… her possibilities are endless.  As I was writing The Sounding, to say that Elise took over her scenes for me doesn’t even do her justice.  In fact, as I was editing, I found myself re-writing her sections more than any other character’s.  She had become so strong and so defined that my early ideas of her power were nowhere near good enough for what she had grown to be.  To be unafraid of pain or physical danger – I found her in the bravest and darkest parts of my imagination.    

As Elise faces a premature Armageddon – and the choice to use her gifts to stop it –the only thing that limits how far Elise will go (and exactly whose side she’s on) is her own morality.  For somewhere, Elise does fear that – herself.  There is little triumph in something easily won or cheated.  And there is nothing as frightening as seeing the darkness she’s fighting win its battle in her heart.  Elise walks that fine line between darkness and light, goodness and awfulness, ultimate power and lonely vulnerability.  She carried me through my story, often to places I did not know and that I wasn’t entirely comfortable finding.  And I know she’ll carry you. 


Just give her the chance… to touch you. 

Carrie Salo

Author of the supernatural thriller The Sounding

Learn more about Elise’s power by watching the book trailer at

Winner Wonderland Giveaway!

Welcome to the Winner Wonderland Giveaway Event. This event is hosted by Put A Little Umbrella In Your Drink, Seeds of Life, And The Little Ones Too and Taking Time For Mommy. This event features giveaways with a value of $25 or more at each of the participating blogs! Check out all of the great Winner Wonderland Sponsors being featured in this event! Be sure to visit each blog from the linky below and enter for your chance to win! This event will close on December 4th at 11:59 pm EST.

This giveaway ends just in time for the Holidays at (write time)  on December 4th.  The winner will be selected by random draw and will have 7 days to respond to our notification email before another winner is selected. 

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Broken Captive by BK Walker

Jenna Mathews lived a life of pain. With an abusive mother and a father that doesn't have time, isolation swamps her. Pain envelops her daily and her only release...self mutilation. When Jeff Simon reaches out to her, showing her what love truly is, Jenna feels hope for the first time in her life. Hope falls short though when Jeff is tragically ripped from her life, and she turns back to doing the only thing that gives her an escape.

What the future has in beyond what she could have ever fathomed.

Short story of fiction, pain, love and healing.

Goodreads Summary

What do you do when it seems like your life is falling apart?  How do you deal with your emotions?  The main character, Jenna, is in a bad place during this novel.  She deals with a mother who abuses her and a father who doesn't appear to care very much about her welfare.  Jenna is also a cutter.  She harms herself to release emotions.  Jenna is a very sympathetic character, it is hard not to feel bad for her throughout most of the book.  Her life begins to turn around when she meets Jeff.  Jeff becomes a bit of a love interest as well as friend; he stabilizes her.  The book takes off from there.

The characters were easy to like, Jenna and Jeff that is.  The author makes Jenna's pain and raw emotions so real, the reader will feel as if Jenna could be a friend of his/hers.  Jeff complements Jenna perfectly, the reader will be rooting for their relationship.  The events were fast-paced and intriguing, particularly when Jenna meets Jeff.  The ending was perfect, wouldn't change a thing.  This book is recommended to adult readers, maybe young adult as well depending on how they would approach the topic of cutting. 

5 Stars

Find this book:

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Studio Center Total Production-Check It Out!

Looking for Voice Over talent?  Take a look at Studio Center Total Production!  One can choose from the top ten male and female voice talents the Studio Center has to offer.  For variety and versatility, one may also choose from children's, foreign, and "new" voices.  Each category offers at least ten different names with the corresponding voices to choose from; the new voice category offers over forty different voices ranging from amateur to experienced.  The site offers a chance to hear as many choices as one needs to before making a final decision.  The voices themselves are easy to hear, they come across on laptop and computer speakers loud and clear.

Studio Center Total Production is involved in audio post production, including just about anything from audio books, soundtracks, narrations, television series, and much more.  The company promises that the best possible quality is continually provided, they don't take anything less!  The website provides the following links for examples:
 Other Audio Production Pages
Another exciting portion of the site concerns music production.  Who wants to go through life without a soundtrack in the background?  That example, stated from Studio Center's website, is hard to argue with.  Their original compositions should leave you completely satisfied, the website promises that your spot will be infused with your chosen emotion and made to stand out amongst the busy, crowded radio and T.V. stations.  You may choose from a jingle or original music to complete scores.  The jingle page contains heady examples of the jingles the company has to offer and offers you a glimpse into what your own jingle may sound like through already created jingles.  The original music page is worth taking a look at as well, the site offers two full-time Composers at the ready 24/7.

What are you waiting for?  Check out Studio Center Total Production rightaway!

Precisely Terminatd by Amanda L. Davis

Monday, November 28, 2011
With microchips implanted in their skulls at birth, the slaves of Cantral and Cillineese have labored under the tyrannical rule of the Nobles and their computers for decades. Monica, a Noble who avoided the implanting and escaped a death sentence at the age of four, is now sixteen and is in hiding. She lives with the slaves inside the walls of the Cantral palace, pretending to be one of them while the slave council plots a way to use her chip-less state to destroy the all-powerful computers that strike down any hint of rebellion.
The Nobles hear of Monica’s survival and try to exterminate her before she ruins their upper-class utopia. The rebels send her to find a missing paper bearing instructions on how to shut down the computers that control the chips in Cillineese, a major city-state. The Nobles are alerted to the plan and prepare to seal Cillineese in a giant dome to gas the inhabitants, including Monica.
The fate of millions rides on Monica’s shoulders. As the only chip-less person in the world, she must find the paper, destroy the computers, and free Cillineese from the Nobles’ iron fist before they strike with the ultimate punishment—death for everyone inside the city walls.

Goodreads Summary

Get ready to dive into this intriguing dystopian?  The author creates a world so realistic the reader will be left thinking about the book long after placing it down for the time being.  The details of every aspect are there for the reader to form a picture of the characters, environment, dynamic scenes, etc...

Monica, the main character, is one of the best features of this book.  She is very dynamic in the story, she slowly matures throughout the book from a slightly self-centered girl to a proud, brave young woman.  She will make the reader proud as she strives to help the others around her.  The other secondary characters are extremely interesting and each will affect different readers in different ways.  The secondary characters are not the "wallpaper" in this novel, the author describes them carefully and in full detail.

The events of this book are fast-paced and exciting, who doesn't love a great dystopian?  The characters drive this story, Monica's actions set off a chain of events that will have the reader on the edge of his/her seat.  This book will end with a twist and the reader will look forward to a sequel.  This novel is recommended to young adult/teens. 

4 Stars

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.

Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go.

But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

Goodreads Summary

What would you do if you knew you had only months to live?  Austin is one of those remarkable characters who appears to remain calm even in the face of death.  He decides on certain things he wants to get done and sets out to do them; for him, it's simple. 

Austin asks Kaylee to journey with him as he completes a certain amount of things he has wanted to do or revisit.  As Kaylee travels with him, Austin contemplates revealing his feelings for her.  Will Austin be brave enough to tell Kaylee?  How much will Austin get crossed off his bucket list? 

As a character, Austin will be likable and easy to relate to for the reader.  He is surprisingly patient, intelligent, and happy for someone who will not live much longer.  Kaylee is almost like Austin's foil.  She is more outgoing, impetuous, and scared than Austin.  The reader will be rooting for a relationship between the two of them. 

The events of this book were very fast-paced, the reader will not be bored at any time.  Austin's good humor and personality drive the plot along at a fast clip.  The characters are a joy to get to know.  The ending is perfect for this book, wouldn't change a thing.  This novel is recommended to young adults/teens.

4 Stars

Lovable Labels!

Sunday, November 27, 2011
Lovable Labels provides personalized labels for children to stick on their bike, shoes, gym clothes, cups, etc... 

There are many, many icons to choose from:

I sent the ballerina-personalized labes to my younger cousin, she will be attending kindergarten next year and these are perfect for keeping her school books and lunch box in order. These labels are dishwasher and microwave safe-how  many labels have that quality?  According to my aunt, the labels do not show signs of wear or tear even though she has already cleaned my cousin's shoes several times.  These labels are perfect for smaller children who are entering or are in the middle grades, kindergarten, or preschool. 

I have heard back from my little cousin, she says that the labels stick perfectly-not one has fallen off yet!  She also loved the bright colors of the labels and the little ballerina that I chose to place beside her name.  Christmas is coming up and she already said she might want more Lovable Labels; these would make for great stocking stuffers. 

The labels may be used to keep track of your child's things, make teachers/caregivers aware of a child's allergies, place on shoes/jackets/uniforms/gloves/hats/etc..., and place on bag totes.  You may also order the Vital ID wristband; the wristband contains your child's name, 2 emergency contacts, allergies, and medications (3 cards are included and may be kept in the wristband's private pocket).  The Medical wristband is much the same and just as useful.

Lovable Labels is available for purchase online at or you can purchase via phone by calling 1-866-328-LOVE (5683).

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Cold Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

Chapter Two

“Elizabeth, let’s get a move on,” Grandma called from the open doorway.

The sky was beginning to lighten from black to gray–the sun hadn’t yet made its appearance – and in the dim light of morning, the black Hummer parked at the curb looked more like an army tank. A very shiny army tank.

“Coming,” my mother called, hauling the last of the bags from my room and maneuvering carefully down the stairs under their weight. She’d made it clear she wasn’t excited about taking the Hummer, but I suspected she dreaded the ride home alone with Grandma.

I stood, bleary eyed on the porch, with my duffel bag slung over my shoulder, a pillow in one hand and a travel coffee mug in the other. I was as ready as I would ever be, especially at five thirty in the morning.

“We've gotta roll if we want to make it out of town before rush hour,” Grandma said.

My mother glared at Grandma as she shuffled past her with the bags, arms straining under the weight. “We’d already be on our way if you’d help carry something.”

Grandma held up her quilted purse that was the size of a small suitcase. “I have this, don’t I? It’s got snacks for the car.”

My mother muttered something under her breath that she’d once told me a lady should never say and heaved the last bag into the back of the Hummer with a thunk.

Grandma closed and locked the front door, and I slid into the cold backseat of the car/truck/weapon of mass destruction. It had a leathery new car smell that I didn’t remember from the first time I’d ridden in it; then again, I’d been barely conscious and clinging to life, so a smell going unnoticed was to be expected.
Grandma and my mother climbed into the front seats, and I do mean climbed. Grandma had to use the metal bar hanging below her open door, like a step ladder, and then another above her head to pull herself up. The massive front seat seemed to swallow her. My mother didn’t notice the extra step or the pull-bar, so she gripped the corners of the seat and climbed in like a toddler. I muffled a laugh, and she glared at me.

At the turn of the key the engine roared to life, and Grandma eased us out of the neighborhood. I turned back once before we rounded the corner at the stop sign and watched my house disappear from view. I couldn’t help but feel a certain finality to it all, like home would never feel the same again.

Grandma and my mother were quiet on the drive out of Frederick Falls, and I forced myself to sleep. The only other choice would’ve been to stare out the window and watch everything that was familiar fade away, until nothing was recognizable.
To find out where you can read the next installment of Cold Blood, visit

Question/Answer With The Author!

1) The all important...Chocolate or Vanilla (there IS a right answer, whahahah :)
2) Mountains or Beaches
A beach near the mountains.
3) Italian Food or French Food
Italian - I love spaghetti!
4) Poems or Nonfiction
Poems - something dark and inspiring.
5) The Game of Life or Monopoly
Monopoly - I like money =)
6) Striped or Polka-dotted socks
Hmm... either - as long as they're cute and not 'old people-ish'
7) 3 Small Wishes or 1 Big Wish
I think 3 small. I can change more things at once that way. Small things DO make a difference.
8) SpongeBob or Rugrats (or substitute another show you know)
Rugrats was good... but I LOVE Phineas and Ferb. I'm possibly a bigger fan of Perry the Platypus than my kids are!
9) Bread or Steak
Bread - but that's my pregnancy talking. Haven't been very big on meat.
10) Pants or Skirt
Pants. But it's winter and again.... pregnant.

Giveaway: Leave a comment with your email for a chance to win an ecopy of the above novel.  Thank you for stopping by!

The Paranormal Turkey Tour (Comment for a chance to win :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011
Ah yes, Thanksgiving. Nothing says the holidays like sitting around a fully decked out dining room table with mouthwatering temptations waiting to be gobbled up. Everyone waits anxiously for the big reveal… the turkey!

Lovingly prepared since early that morning, the turkey is brought out in a covered, silver serving platter. Aunt Edith smacks little Tommy's hand as he attempts to steal a candied yam dripping with marshmallow. The collective breath is held as the silver cover is removed… revealing… a zombie turkey!

What—what? That's right folks, this year, we are celebrating this American holiday paranormal style. And what says paranormal holiday better than a walking, talking zombie turkey?

This zombie turkey brings you important tidings of great prizes that shall be for all people… who participate and win of course.

November 25-27 you could win up to $200 in prizes!


Three days. Four YA paranormal books. Five chances to win!

And who are these crazy paranormal authors? Check them out. It's like the Nightmare Before Christmas, Thanksgiving style!


Emlyn Chand, author of Farsighted

"Psychic or not, you'll never see the end for this one coming! Emlyn Chand is pioneering 'the next big thing' for YA." ~ Emily Reese, author of Second Death

Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Monster Mash: Emlyn says… I. AM. WEREWOLF! And why's that you ask? First off, my name (Chand) literally means moon in Sanskrit. Next, werewolves are super cool--we can blend in with common folk, and then out of nowhere, kapow! I'm a werewolf, and I sure am hungry. Lastly, Team Jacob 100%. Now excuse me while I cock back my head and howl at my namesake.


Patti Larsen, author of Family Magic

"Patti Larsen is truly gifted because I read Family Magic cover to cover and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment!" ~ from Goodreads review

Sixteen-year-old Sydlynn Hayle is the daughter of a powerful witch and a demon lord, but she just wants to be ordinary. When her coven comes under attack, Syd must face the fact only her power can save her family's magic.

Monster Mash: Patti says… I am a witch. Naturally. I weave spells with my words, cast incantations from my keyboard, mix up the very best potions in my cauldron of documents. You want to stay on my good side. Trust me. Unless you enjoy waking up as something... unnatural.


Kimberly Kinrade, author of Forbidden Mind

"Forbidden Mind is a thrilling, dark and deeply romantic read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting the next installment." ~Refracted Light Young Adult Book Reviews

Paranormal teens with unimaginable powers. An evil organization with deep secrets. When Sam, a girl who reads minds, meets a boy who controls minds, she discovers her future isn't what she thought. Together they must escape and free the others… or risk losing everything—and everyone—they love.

Monster Mash: Kimberly says… I may look like a demon, but I'm actually a succubus. Enchanting and seductive, I weave stories that will fuel your passions and make you fall in love. But be warned… once you fall under the spell of my words, your world will never be the same.


John Corwin, author of The Next Thing I Knew

Corwin does a phenomenal job of including humor throughout this novel. This book was like . . . Ghost (the movie) meets The Host (by Stephanie Meyer) meets MIB (Men In Black the movie). ~Maryann, Chapter by Chapter

The afterlife is the last thing on Lucy’s mind until she and every other human on the planet drop dead and find themselves in the hereafter. Lucy drags her social life back from the grave and enlists her friends to figure out the rules of the afterlife and, more importantly, to discover who or what killed everyone and why anyone would do such a mean thing.

Monster Mash: John says… I am a ninja. After all, vampires are simply ninjas with fangs. They can hide in plain sight, right in your living room. Jump out and scare the wits out of you. Drop a smoke bomb and poof! All you’re left with is stinky smoke in your house and soiled underclothes.


The Prizes

Four $25 Book Entries: For each of the four books in the contest, you can enter to win $25 (up to $100 in giveaways!) Simply buy a copy of the book (each is priced at just 99 cents for this special promotion) and email the proof of purchase for that book OR submit the first sentence of the fifth chapter for that book to Winners will be chosen randomly. Each person can submit one entry per book. Here are the links for each book:
And... if you buy all FOUR books, you are entered to win the Grand Prize!


The Grand Prize

One randomly selected reader who enters to win all four book prizes (Family Magic, Farsighted, Forbidden Mind and The Next Thing I Knew) will win the grand prize of $100.

So go on now and pick up a copy of these fantastic paranormal reads before the zombie turkey eats you!

What? Still around? Then enjoy these fun book trailers and Paranormal Turkey Tour trailer. (Then go buy the books.) Also, leave a comment and help your favorite blog host win a $50 prize!


  • All winners will be chosen randomly using
  • Amazon links are provided, but books purchased through any online vendor will qualify with proof of purchase.

Comment on this post for your chance to win!  *It really helps me if you comment too :)

Cover Adoration Nov 28, 2011

My review of this one will be up soon!

Love the dress and the alliterative title.

Different, but I really like it.

Are there any titles you are looking forward to?

The Stay Tuned Holiday Tour

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Stay Tuned eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including lots of Amazon gift cards (up to $100 in amount) and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 2nd, so you don’t miss out.

To Win the Prizes:

1. Purchase your copy of Stay Tuned for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble (You’ll need it for the big contest on Friday)

2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes

3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

The Featured Events include:

Monday, Radio Interview with Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We interviewed Lauren on our radio show Sunday night and have embedded the full podcast and blogged about its highlights. Give it a listen and then leave a comment on the blog post. This is a great chance to get to know more about this fun and bubbly author. One commenter will win an autographed copy of Stay Tuned. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. The winners will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Take a break from the holiday frenzy, and read Stay Tuned. It's fast, fun, and reduced to just 99 cents! #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the Stay Tuned book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. Two chances to win with just one click! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the Stay Tuned book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Are you ready for some more fun? Take a picture of yourself with your copy of Stay Tuned either in paperback or on an eReading device, tag Lauren Clark’s Facebook page, and you can enter to win one of three Amazon gift cards! A $100 prize will go to the most creative photo, $50 to the best BFF photo, and $50 to the photo with the most people in it. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. If you need help learning how to tag a photo, you can visit Lauren’s Facebook page for detailed instructions.

Remember, it’s all about the books!

About Stay Tuned: What happens when a #1 news team becomes the top story instead of reporting it? For TV producer Melissa Moore, crisis management comes with the job. From employee disputes to her high-maintenance boss, there’s not much she hasn’t seen or can’t handle. But no one—including Melissa—expects a fistfight during the ten o’clock news. When sexy-but-crazy Alyssa Andrews lands a punch on her co-anchor’s face, Melissa jumps on set to help. She’s determined that WSGA’s reputation won’t be destroyed on her watch. Both anchors are fired and Melissa agrees to fill in—but not before polishing her look from haircut to heels. While the new Melissa wows WSGA viewers, her personal life starts fraying at the edges. Melissa’s husband is away more than he’s home, leaving cryptic Post-it notes in his wake. Her mother’s antics spiral out of control at the nursing home and a stalker decides Melissa is her next target. What happens next? Stay Tuned to find out… Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Lauren Clark has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. She lives near the Florida Gulf Coast. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Let's get to know Lauren better through a rousing Q&A...

Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes. For as long as I can remember. Of course, my parents always remind that I also wanted to be an Indian princess named Tiger Lily, but that dream was more short-lived. On a serious note, I do have fond memories of spending my summer days toting stacks of books back and forth from my house to our town’s library. It always seemed like a magical place, with endless stories to get lost in.

You worked as both an anchor and producer after graduate school. How did that influence the writing of Stay Tuned?

So much! It was an accident, really, getting into broadcast journalism. I always thought of myself as a behind the scenes kind of girl, but after my first day on the job, I loved it and stuck with it for the next 6 years. Working in television is never boring. There’s always a story, always the next show. The camaraderie in the newsroom is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It’s like living in a big, loud, mostly happy, very dysfunctional family every day.

What gave you the idea for Stay Tuned?

True story: A few months before I took my first television job as a part-time health reporter, the two main anchors at one of the local television stations (who were romantically involved) got into a fistfight. They were outside the building, in the station parking lot. Shortly thereafter, they were both fired. In the months that followed, the two of them bantered back and forth in newspaper editorials, threatened lawsuits, and fueled all sorts of crazy retaliation stories. I never forgot about that incident and always thought about what might happen if such a fistfight happened on air, during a newscast. What would happen? How would it be handled? Who would fix this kind of mess?

What did you learn from being on air?

It’s very humbling, really. As a producer, especially, you are in charge of what’s being put out there—the news stories people watch and talk about each day. It’s a big responsibility to get it right. Not just sometimes, but all of the time. There were many sobering days—car accidents, house fires, school shootings—and those stories should be told with sensitivity and care. It’s someone’s son or daughter or parent. Everyone matters.

What was your most memorable experience as an anchor or reporter?

I was on set during 9-11. I remember sitting there with our weatherman and waiting to be cued to go back on air after the commercial. CBS cut in and showed footage from a plane crashing into the Twin Towers. It was surreal and awful. We were all in shock. It didn’t seem possible. All I wanted to do was go home and hug my son.

Was it a difficult decision to leave television?

Yes and no. I loved so many parts of broadcasting. I was able to meet fascinating people – Vice Presidential Candidate Geraldine Ferraro, then-New York Attorney General Eliott Spitzer among many others. I adored the people I worked with, especially the folks behind the scenes. I was also fortunate enough to win several AP awards for anchoring and reporting.

On the flip side, I worked crazy hours (2 am – 10 am) and, as is typical in the industry, I received very little vacation time. I anchored every holiday (Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, you name it) and wasn’t able to spend much time with my young son. After more than six years, I “retired” from TV news. It was then that I really started to get serious about writing fiction.

How long did it take to write Stay Tuned?

About five years, all said and done. I wrote several other novels before that—and those manuscripts will never see the light of day! When I began Stay Tuned, I had just given birth to my second son, so my writing time was very limited. After putting it away for several years, I picked it back up about 12 months ago, brushed it off, and had an editor-friend look it over. We made some changes, tweaked the story, and fine-tuned the plot. A few months back, I was offered a contract with a small publishing company. Another friend introduced me to the talented and fabulous Emlyn Chand at Novel Publicity, who helped guide me through the entire publishing process. It’s been a wonderful journey!

What’s next? A sequel or a stand-alone novel?

Dancing Naked in Dixie is next (stand alone title) and I’m so excited to share that it’s been selected as a finalist for the 2011 Chick Lit Writers “Get Your Stiletto in the Door” Contest (Winner will be announced December 20, 2011).

Dancing Naked follows the story of a talented but scattered travel magazine writer who returns from overseas only to find out she’s on the verge of getting fired. To save her job, she reluctantly accepts an assignment in the Deep South. She’ll be writing an article about Eufaula, Alabama's annual Pilgrimage event, which is a long-standing spring tour of antebellum mansions (the location is featured in the Reese Witherspoon’s movie, Sweet Home Alabama). Upon arriving in Eufaula, Julia falls in love with the area, its cast of charming characters, and her handsome tour guide. When she discovers that a developer has big plans to buy up many of the historic homes and turn the area into a tourist site, it’s up to Julia to save the day.

What is your writing schedule like?

With two growing, active boys and a busy husband, finding time to write is like looking for a missing Lego piece in a houseful of toys (Moms should appreciate that!) I often get up very early and write while everyone else is asleep or go to the lovely campus of our local university and shut myself in a study room. I love it there because I have to shut off my phone and I don’t have the password for an internet connection! No distractions! Of course, I do frequent two or three local coffee shops and draw inspiration from my daily dose of caffeine and good friends!

Who are your favorite writers? Favorite books?

Gosh, there are so many! My all-time favorites include Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, Jodi Picoult, Alice Hoffman, Jennifer Weiner, Chris Bohjalian, John Grisham, Amanda Eyre Ward, and Lisa See. I also love Lisa Scottoline, Janet Evanovich, and James Patterson. Favorite books include: Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, and Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (this is a children’s book that I’ve read over and over to my two boys).

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Read. A lot. Write. A lot. Revise. A lot. I’m not joking.

Anyone can write. Writing well is different. It takes focus and tenacity and determination. I've heard Stephen King quoted as saying, "The first million words are practice. Malcolm Gladwell, in Outliers, says, "It takes 10,000 hours of purposeful practice to become expert at anything." Just to be clear, at 4 hours a day (28 hours a week), that’s 7 years. I’m not quoting the experts to scare anyone or be a harbinger of doom. It’s the truth.

Pick up a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing. It’s brilliant and so true and funny in so many sections. If you’re serious about becoming an author, learn as much as you can. Read blogs and books about the craft, network with other writers, or go to a writer’s conference. Above all, write!

Vote for Live To Read ~Krystal and thank you for stopping by!

Guest Post with Stephen Schochet

Author Stephen Schochet (pronounced Show-het) is a professional tour guide in Hollywood who years ago began collecting little-known, humorous anecdotes to tell to his customers. His new book Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! contains a timeless treasure trove of colorful vignettes featuring an amazing all-star cast of icons including John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn, and many others both past and contemporary. Tim Sika, host of the radio show Celluloid Dreams on KSJS in San Jose has called Stephen, “The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard.”

 1.      Tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in Hollywood.

I’m a tour guide in Hollywood and years ago I started collecting little stories to tell the customers and had the idea that the tales could be told anywhere.  I had always been interested in the movies and history so it was kind of a natural fit for me.  When I first started I had a study buddy named Ivan.  During our breaks we would research information about old Hollywood and share it with each other.  I remember one time we met on Hollywood Boulevard and said to me in a low, conspiratorial tone,” Steve, man, you what I found out today? That Thomas Edison owned the rights to the movie camera and the early moguls like Mayer, Warner, and Zukor they had to pay him tributes.  They why they left the East Coast and came west — they were outlaws, baby!”  The more information we found out, the more fun it was to give the tour.  And I’ve got a good memory for stories so having different material kept it fresh, I think for the customers as well.  Anyway, eventually I had the idea that these very short anecdotes could be told anywhere and that’s what led, after a few other projects, to the idea for the book.

2.  Have you met any of the famous people that you talk about in your book?

Jimmy Stewart, George Burns, and Lucille Ball were always friendly and waved. Fred Hayman’s boutique on Rodeo Drive was a great store (now defunct) where I used to be able get my customers cappuccinos spiked with Kailua and brandy — I’ll tell you the more people drank the more they enjoyed the tour.  A bunch of stars came in there, like Cybil Shepard, Suzanne Pleshette, Vanna White, the one who I really enjoyed meeting was Zsa Zsa Gabor who took pictures with all my customers.  The bartender was a beautiful girl named Laura, she looked like Cindy Crawford.  Zsa Zsa walked to the bar, complimented Laura and asked how she kept her skin so nice.  Before Laura could answer Zsa Zsa suggested that Laura stay away from booze — then asked her to put some extra brandy in the cappuccino.  Then she laughed so she had a good sense of humor.

3.      Tell us the Peter O'Toole Funeral Story.

               One Late Night in Ireland

One very late night in Ireland, Peter O’Toole and Peter Finch shocked a pub owner who wanted to close up. The two inebriated actors offered to buy his establishment for twice as much as it was worth, as long as the alcohol kept coming. A contract was written and signed on a napkin. The next afternoon, the hung-over stars woke up and after some blurry discussions, they recalled what they did the night before. Fearing their business managers would kill them, they raced back to the saloon keeper and begged for mercy. The man gave them a stern look, then smiled and tore up the agreement. They were so grateful they drank there over the next twenty years, whenever their schedules allowed, till the pub owner died. After downing a few pints, the devastated twosome headed off to the memorial service. Finch and O’Toole delivered long moving eulogies, which drove the mourners to tears, until they realized they were at the wrong funeral.

4.     Can you tell us the anecdote about Desi Arnaz’s mispronunciations? 

Desi Talks

Thirty-four-year-old Desi Arnaz guarded the integrity of his character Ricky Ricardo on the 1951 TV sitcom I Love Lucy. Each week his ditzy spouse, played by his real-life wife Lucille Ball, would come up with a crazy scheme to break into show business. The Cuban-born bandleader recognized that Lucy was the main draw and didn’t mind being her second banana as long as he didn’t look like a fool. He insisted to the writers that Ricky see through her plans; That he

was always on equal footing with the audience. Another issue was his accent, which only Lucy was allowed to make fun of. One time Desi stopped rehearsal. Why did the script say splain and thin, instead of explain and thing? When told that it was the way that he spoke, Arnaz angrily denied it and demanded that the scripts be written in proper English.

5. Can you tell us the story about Louis B. Mayer's bad reaction to a staff suggestion:

The Thing at MGM

One day in 1927, MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer reluctantly agreed to a meeting with his creative staff. It was so damn annoying, these so-called artists wanting to bother him with their smutty ideas. The mogul felt that family films were what the public wanted; to stray from clean content was a mistake. His employees always wished to push the envelope with what they called more adult subjects, like rape and murder. Now they were all excited to show him a new comedy. The lights went down and Mayer was horrified by the images he saw on the screen. “Stop the projector! I ought to fire all of you! Imagine if that thing were ten feet tall in theaters. All the pregnant women would flee out into the street.”Mayer abruptly left, while his astonished personnel wondered who would tell the nervous young filmmaker in the next room that MGM would not distribute his Mickey Mouse cartoons.

6) Was there a misunderstanding on the set of The Hunchback of Notre Dame?
We’ll Always Have Paris

Some unruly actors dampened the good mood of English-challenged William Dieterle when he directed The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1939. Up to now, the German filmmaker’s instructions were being carried out flawlessly. In blistering Los Angeles’ heat, covered in tons of make-up, Charles Laughton was wonderful as the deformed bell ringer. Playing the gypsy Esmeralda, Maureen O’Hara was excellent in her dialogue and dance scenes. And hundreds of costumed extras were performing without a hitch. The mammoth production had gone smoothly until that day; there were a bunch of chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas running around their seventeenth-century Paris set. Dieterle, who always wore white gloves to protect himself from germs, demanded to know what these smelly, noisy creatures were doing there. It turned out that a hard-of-hearing assistant misunderstood the director’s request for some more monks.

7.      What was Leonard Nimoy willing to do to alleviate his ear pain when he starred as Mr. Spock on the TV classic Star Trek?

Spock’s Ears

Leonard Nimoy suffered while playing Mr. Spock in the 1966 TV series Star Trek. The
thirty-five-year-old former cab driver from Boston created the Vulcan’s unique
attributes, such as the neck pinch that could render his enemies unconscious and the
split-finger greeting, based on an ancient Talmudic sign used by Hebrew Priests. Mr.
Spock got tons of fan mail and became an unlikely extraterrestrial sex symbol. The
dedicated performer would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t for the damn ears, so
painful to unglue they were driving him crazy. Desperate for relief, Nimoy sought the
advice of one of the show’s producers who had a possible solution. There was a
renowned Beverly Hills plastic surgeon that could make his real ears pointy for the
duration of the series, then change them back. The excited actor asked for an
immediate appointment as his boss wondered how to break the news that he was

8.      How did James Cameron try to end the working relationship with Arnold Schwarzenegger before The Terminator?

Let’s Do Lunch

A lunch with Arnold Schwarzenegger caused James Cameron to change his opinion about casting for the 1984 sci-fi thriller, The Terminator. The thirty-year –old director disagreed with his bosses that Arnold was the right man to play the film’s hero, who goes up against a homicidal robot. Cameron planned to insult the Austrian bodybuilder and end the work relationship before it started. But the thirty-seven-year-old Schwarzenegger was charming, suggested some great ideas for the movie and had muscles rippling beneath his shirt; might as well be nice or the famed weight lifter could break him like a twig. It was bad enough that James had no money on him and Arnold had to pick up the tab. Maybe Schwarzenegger could play the Terminator; it made more sense than the producers’ other suggestion. The filmmaker wondered how anyone in their right mind could see former football star O.J. Simpson as a killer.

9.      Tell us about the Peter O’Toole funeral story.

One Late Night in Ireland

One very late night in Ireland, Peter O’Toole and Peter Finch shocked a pub owner who wanted to close up. The two inebriated actors offered to buy his establishment for twice as much as it was worth, as long as the alcohol kept coming. A contract was written and signed on a napkin. The next afternoon, the hung-over stars woke up and after some blurry discussions, they recalled what they did the night before. Fearing their business managers would kill them, they raced back to the saloon keeper and begged for mercy. The man gave them a stern look, then smiled and tore up the agreement. They were so grateful they drank there over the next twenty years, whenever their schedules allowed, till the pub owner died. After downing a few pints, the devastated twosome headed off to the memorial service. Finch and O’Toole delivered long moving eulogies, which drove the mourners to tears, until they realized they were at the wrong funeral.

10.  You have a pretty big bibliography; why was David Niven a better source for lore than history?

David Niven’s Yarns

British actor and raconteur David Niven never let the facts get in the way of a good yarn. In his wonderful 1975 book about Hollywood, Bring on the Empty Horses, Niven described Christmas in 1947 when he convinced his neighbor Tyrone Power to dress up as Santa Claus at a party for Niven’s children. At the last moment, Power came down with a bad bout of stage fright and tried to back out of his promise; only after downing a great deal of Scotch did he stumble into the backyard as St. Nick. Like most actors, once Tyrone got into character, he began to enjoy himself. At one point, the inebriated matinee idol put Gary Cooper’s daughter Maria on his knee. “Ho, Ho, Ho, little girl. You tell your old man Santa enjoyed watching him in High Noon. And ask him to get that pretty Grace Kelly’s phone number for me while you’re at it. Ho, Ho, Ho.”

High Noon was released in 1952, five years after Tyrone supposedly put on the white whiskers.

 11) Tell us the chandelier story from Amadeus.

Amadeus Was Here

New York actor F. Murray Abraham didn’t mind spending months in Prague when he starred in the 1984 Mozart fantasy Amadeus. In the Communist controlled city, you could turn the camera 360 degrees and it still looked like the eighteenth century. So what if there were a few inconveniences? One night a friend of Abraham’s, who was staying in the same building, was consumed with searching the actor’s apartment for electronic listening devices. F. Murray, who would win an Oscar for his performance as Mozart’s obsessed rival Salieri, couldn’t care less if the secret police heard them, and just wanted to go to dinner. But when his buddy found a mysterious plate under a decoration rug, he exclaimed to Abraham, “I told you, man!” and attempted to disable the suspected bug by triumphantly wielding a butter knife to undo the screws. When they suddenly heard the loud crash of a chandelier hitting the floor of the room beneath them, the two shocked men then beat a hasty retreat to the nearest restaurant.

12.  Are you working on another book, if so tell us about it?

I have some ideas but nothing concrete yet.  Before I wrote Hollywood Stories, I wrote and narrated two audio books, which are now available on iTunes, Tales of Hollywood and Fascinating Walt Disney.  For me creativity almost seems out of my control, the projects come out when they are ready to.

13.  Where can people go to get more information about you and your book?

Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! 

(ISBN 9780963897275)

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon or wherever books are sold.

The Sounding by Carrie Salo

Friday, November 25, 2011
In the Book of Revelation, a man named John has a prophetic dream. He dreams of the final prophecies that will come to pass – and the seven archangels that guard them. Each angel waits to sound their trumpet at God’s appointed time, preparing humanity to fight and win the final battle.
2,000 years later, Father Chris Mognahan is a member of the Hetairia Melchizedek, a secret society within the Catholic Church that studies Biblical omens. The society asks Chris to investigate an unusually grotesque crime – a murder on a college campus where the killer's hand literally burned off the victim's face. While the killing seems isolated at first, the society ties the murder to the final Biblical prophecy and a terrifying omen that the order of the prophecies is about to be disrupted. The final battle is coming too soon – long before humanity is prepared to win it.
Suddenly, Chris finds himself fighting against time and hell to keep the prophecies in order and stop an early Armageddon. He is joined by a band of unlikely allies, and together they find themselves in Rome above the Vatican Necropolis – the city of the dead – where the future is revealed to them in ancient texts.
They are not alone, however; an evil as old as time itself hunts them. As they travel across continents on their mission, the demonic force follows relentlessly, waiting in every shadowed corner, and every dark place.
As Armageddon descends, Father Chris finds that his only hope lies in a young woman within the group who has a secret gift – and their belief that God Himself may have sent her to keep the final angelic trumpet from sounding out the early end of the Earth.

Goodreads Summary

Looking for a good horror/mystery with a tinge of romance?  This book is the one for you.  The main character, Father Chris, will engage the reader within the first chapter and the prologue starts the reader out with immediate action.  There is an undercurrent of suspense throughout the book, the tone of the novel is perfect for the plot.

The world may be heading towards an apocalypse.  Father Chris and several other characters including the enigma love interest work towards finding a solution.  The novel addresses several topics found in Christianity including free will and how much may be too much as well as the possibility that one's destiny and the destiny of many may rest on only one person.  There is so much action in this novel that it is hard to put down.  The subplot of a forbidden romance between Father Chris and the enigmatic young woman serves to enhance the reader's experience.

The book is very well-written and the chapters flow smoothly, no awkward or choppy transitions.  The author pulls together a great resolution at the end of the novel, leaving the reader satisfied.  This book is highly recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Black Friday Book Bonanza! (USA)

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know most of you are looking forward to Black Friday, but for this giveaway-you don't need to stand in line.  You can win:

Don't forget to enter my other major giveaway!